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Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Dec 20;24(25):7241-54. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddv424. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

An insoluble frontotemporal lobar degeneration-associated TDP-43 C-terminal fragment causes neurodegeneration and hippocampus pathology in transgenic mice.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and.
2
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Institute on Aging, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
3
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Institute on Aging, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA vmylee@upenn.edu.

Abstract

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) causes progressive personality, behavior and/or language disturbances and represents the second most common form of dementia under the age of 65. Over half of all FTD cases are classified pathologically as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) pathology (FTLD-TDP). In FTLD-TDP brains, TDP-43 is phosphorylated, C-terminally cleaved, lost from the nucleus and accumulates in the cytoplasm and processes of neurons and glia. However, the contribution of TDP-43 C-terminal fragments (CTFs) to pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Here, we developed transgenic (Tg) mice with forebrain Camk2a-controlled doxycycline-suppressible expression of a TDP-43 CTF (amino acids 208-414, designated 208 TDP-43 CTF), previously identified in FTLD-TDP brains. In these 208 TDP-43 Tg mice, detergent-insoluble 208 TDP-43 CTF was present in a diffuse punctate pattern in neuronal cytoplasm and dendrites without forming large cytoplasmic inclusions. Remarkably, the hippocampus showed progressive neuron loss and astrogliosis in the dentate gyrus (DG). This was accompanied by phosphorylated TDP-43 in the CA1 subfield, and ubiquitin and mitochondria accumulations in the stratum lacunosum moleculare (SLM) layer, without loss of endogenous nuclear TDP-43. Importantly, 208 TDP-43 CTF and phosphorylated TDP-43 were rapidly cleared when CTF expression was suppressed in aged Tg mice, which ameliorated neuron loss in the DG despite persistence of ubiquitin accumulation in the SLM. Our results demonstrate that Camk2a-directed 208 TDP-43 CTF overexpression is sufficient to cause hippocampal pathology and neurodegeneration in vivo, suggesting an active role for TDP-43 CTFs in the pathogenesis of FTLD-TDP and related TDP-43 proteinopathies.

PMID:
26476406
PMCID:
PMC5007600
DOI:
10.1093/hmg/ddv424
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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